Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Job Watch -- Getting Ready For Tomorrow's Seasonally-Adjusted, Boiler-Plate, Massaged Report -- April 6, 2016


April 7, 2016: forecast, first-time unemployment claims, at 6:48 a.m. Central Time, before official release in about an hour --
  • prior: 276,000; new claims surged "unexpectedly" 11,000 in the previous report
  • forecast for April 7, 2016, report: 272,000 (consensus; range - 261K to 290K)
  • forecast for four-week rolling average: 263.25
Actual: fell 9,000 to 267,000. Report here. The four-week average, a less-volatile figure, rose 3,500 to 266,750.
Original Post
If I remember, I will post the first-time unemployment claims data here tomorrow.

In anticipation of this report, here's an interesting update from The Atlantic: How can a jobs recovery so historic be so disappointing?



From the article:

Let’s start with the first storyline
That the economy is returning to normal, as the labor force is on a historic streak of creating full-time jobs. There is some evidence that the nature of work—and the relationship between employers and employees—is undergoing a major shift that is more complicated than the “return to normal” narrative.
For several years, economists wondered whether freelancers or on-demand jobs, like Uber drivers, were growing. It was hard to know for sure, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics hasn’t conducted a proper survey on it since 2005. So, economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger did their own.
They discovered that the on-demand “Uber” economy is still puny. But something bigger is happening. A larger category of “alternative” work has exploded, with contractors and temp workers—like home health aides, truck drivers, and call center workers—who often face unpredictable schedules and lack benefits like health insurance or a retirement package. Between 2005 and 2015, the economy witnessed a 66 percent increase in the number of workers in these "alternative” arrangements. Over the same period, the number of standard full-time jobs actually declined slightly.
Second story line:
Now onto the wage question. The big story of the past few years is that average wage growth has been disappointing, given all the full-time jobs the economy is creating. But it’s possible that wages are growing, just in ways that economists are missing by focusing on the word average.
Imagine a company, Cars Inc., with two groups of workers: Rich old workers who design cars, and cheap young workers who sell cars. In the recession, consumers want fewer cars. So the company lays off its cheap young employees. This creates an interesting scenario: The company is paying a high average wage, but only because it’s fired the cheap workers.
Then the recession ends, and people want cars, again. Cars Inc offers raises to its designers. But also, it hires back more salespeople at low wages. That’s a good thing, right? Everybody at Cars Inc is making more money than they used to! But average wages don’t rise very much, because all these cheap hires offset the raises for richer designers. After a few years, the rich workers retire. What happens when the highest wages are taken off the books? Again, it depresses the growth of average wages at the company.
My hunch: everyone has their own worldview / myth on US jobs and can come up with data to support their myth.

Any jobs article that doesn't mention a) ObamaCare; and, b) the experience of the CEO of Carl's Jr is a mediocre article at best.

FiatChrysler To Scrap 1,300 Jobs

Reuters is reporting:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is laying off about 1,300 workers indefinitely and ending one of the two shifts at its Sterling Heights, Michigan, plant that makes the slow-selling midsize Chrysler 200 sedan.
It is one of the largest layoffs at a U.S. auto plant since the 2008-2009 recession, and there is widespread speculation that it will not be the end of production changes among U.S. automakers trying to adjust to consumer tastes that continue to shift from cars such as sedans and hatchbacks to SUVs and pickup trucks.
For the folks writing The Atlantic story linked above, these Fiat Chrysler jobs would be "high-paying" jobs with nice benefits.

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